Student Council Representative Mia Akers was selected as the new vice chair of the student government Monday following a debate-filled Student Council meeting.
Akers, who was the previous Diversity Committee chair and is a College of Letters and Science representative, won the vice chair position for the 20th session of the Associated Students of Madison by a secret ballot against Rep. Sarah Neibart, who previously served as Student Services Finance Committee Chair.
Out of the 30 members present, 16 voted for Akers and 13 for Neibart, according to ASM Chair David Gardner.
Last Wednesday, the vote for vice chair between the two candidates initially was in a tie and, after ongoing debate and several votes, a tie was still in place. Upon the stalemate for the position, the vote was pushed back to Monday for the vice chair spot.
In open forum, members of ASM committees continued to offer up their support for either candidate.
Brit Moes, former Shared Governance chair, said she endorsed Neibart for the great relationship she had with staff and her ability to communicate with them effectively.
Madison Tully, former Diversity Committee secretary, said her endorsement of Akers was based on the ease students have when speaking to her, which she said would be very valuable for a student leader.
Akers said while the election process was stressful, the position will allow her to do a lot of outreach, which is what she is passionate about.
Akers said she hopes to enhance students’ Wisconsin Experiences by encouraging them to engage with more events on campus directed toward them.
“We are affiliates of United Council and they put on amazing conferences and conventions that a lot of students don’t know about, and by trying to get more students to come to these conferences, I think that more students will be more benefited by the work ASM does,” Akers said.
Graduate Rep. Andrew Kidd was re-elected as Finance Committee Chair, defeating Mary Prunty by a vote of 16-11.
Kidd said his expertise in finance, which stems from his undergraduate and graduate work in economics as well as his work as chair for the 19th session, makes him a perfect fit to continue as chair of the committee.
He said while the committee had troubles during the last session, his primary focus would be to fix policy for the committee.
“A huge complaint we got this year was that Registered Student Organizations didn’t understand what we meant by certain things,” Kidd said. “So the number one goal will be to front-load our work so that RSOs understand what we’re doing, and that way everything will run smoothly and we will have a great relationship with the RSOs.”
Grace Bolt was elected to press office director, and said that her work as assistant press office director this past year would provide her with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out her work effectively.